Accessibility statement

Helen Snelson



I am the Curriculum Area Leader for the Secondary History PGCE course. My role is to support and develop teacher trainees to become NQTs (Newly Qualified Teachers) who feel fully prepared to start their career as History teachers. To do this, I work with a wonderful team of school based History teacher mentors. Together we encourage trainees to become reflective practitioners who know how to engage and inspire their students with a love of the past and how to enable them to make the best possible progress in History.

My role at the University is part-time and for the rest of the week I work on history education development projects. I taught for 20 years in a variety of 11-18 secondary schools and I am a Chartered History Teacher and EuroClio ambassador. When I was a Head of History, my department became the first in the country to be awarded the Historical Association's Quality Mark at Gold Level. I am now Chair of the Historical Association’s Secondary Committee, a Fellow of the HA and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

I believe that really good teachers are always learning, and that high-quality, subject specific CPD (continuing professional development) and strong networks are crucial to keep teachers themselves engaged and inspiring for their pupils. Trainees at York are encouraged to get involved in History teaching networks, and thus to contribute to the development of the profession, from the very start of their training.

I have a particular interest in helping History teachers to stay abreast of recent historical scholarship, access diverse source material and use this to make sure that their teaching of History reflects the diversity of the past and is representative of the present.



Current areas of work:

  • Researching and developing resources about the histories of Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people
  • Environmental history in schools
  • Mentoring history teachers at the start of their careers
  • Subject knowledge updating for classroom history teachers, particularly in relation to local history and via connections
    with academic research.

External activities


I have various other roles, including:

  • Fellow and trustee of the UK Historical Association (HA) and Chair of the HA’s Secondary Committee.
  • Member of the EuroClio (the European Network of History Educators) Historiana Teaching and Learning Team.
  • Committee member for the History Teacher Education Network (HTEN).
  • Member of the Strategy Group for Teach Climate History.
  • Regular presenter at history teaching conferences.
  • Textbook author for Hodder Education.
  • Writer of learning activities for and of articles for the journal ‘Teaching History’.
  • Contributor to teacher education books, such as ‘Debates in History Teaching’ ed. I Davies (Routledge, 2017) and 'What is History Teaching Now?' ed. R.Ball and A. Fairlamb (John Catt, 2023).
  • Web presence and organisation for YorkClio (the City of York network of History teachers) and York Young HA.

Contact details

Department of Education
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 323772